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Solid Waste management is the dire need of India.

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Solid Waste management is India’s dire need today. Comment

India, the world’s second highest populated country after China with population of 1.21 billion (census 2011) already containing 17.5% of the world’s population, is a land of physical, climatic, geographic, ecological, social, cultural and linguistic diversity. The annual rate of growth of urban population in India is 3.35% (Census of India, 2011). The proportion of population living in urban areas has increased from 17.35% in 1951 to 31.2% in 2011(Census, 2011). No doubt, India has achieved multifaceted socio-economic progress during last 64 years of its independence. However, in spite of heavy expenditure by Civic bodies, Management of Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) continues to remain one of the most neglected areas of urban development in India. Piles of garbage and wastes of all kinds littered everywhere have become common sight in urban life. For most of urban local bodies in India solid waste is a major concern that has reached alarming proportions requiring management initiatives on a war-footing. Though solid waste management is one of the basic essential services to be provided by municipal authorities in India, the present scenario provides rather a clumsy picture in terms of service delivery as evidenced by absence of adequate overall waste management mechanism.

The waste generation trends in India over a period since 1971 are depicted in table-1. It may be stated that modern urban living brings on the problem of waste because of everything in packaging and fast food products which increases the quantity of waste and changes its composition with each passing day as apparent from the trends.

Table 1- Waste generation Trends in India

The quantum of MSW generated in Indian Cities was surveyed by FICCI in year 2009 (August, 2009) to gauge the current status of solid waste management in Indian cities. The picture emerged during this survey is depicted as below-

In India, solid waste management services are provided by Municipal Corporations/ Municipalities/ Panchayats as per their rules. Many of the laws are quite old and they need change as per requirement. Even their implementation is also very poor. Waste Management is now a problem not only of urban areas but also in semi-urban and rural areas. Waste lying on roadsides, low lying areas and vacant places, outside drainages etc. not only mars the aesthetic beauty of that place but is a serious health and environmental hazards to the people. Animal feeding on this waste and consuming all polythene and hazardous waste mixed with kitchen waste is a serious health hazard for them. Though solid waste management now exists in metropolitan cities but it is far away in semi-urban and rural areas creating all environmental and health hazards to the residents of those areas.

Solid Waste Management in India is the need of the hour which should be seriously taken care of by government/ civic bodies to provide SWM service properly to the public. Public apathy and low social status assigned to SWM activity by civic bodies is a great hurdle in solving this problem. Stringent laws should be passed in this regard for proper disposal and treatment of waste. No new plan of any residential, commercial area should be passed until and unless it has proper place for disposal and treatment of its waste. In India there is a strong case of private sector participation in this area and private sector can come with its expertise, technology, capital, improved and efficiently managed service. Public participation is of paramount importance and can provide big results if seek properly.

References:
1. Viz D (2012) Urbanization and solid waste management in India: Present practices and future challenges. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 37 ( 2012 ) 437 – 447
2. Kaushal R K, Varghese G K and Chabukdhara M (2012) Municipal Solid Waste Management in India-Current State and Future Challenges: A Review. International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST) Vol. 4 No.04 April 2012 pp 1473-1489
3. Kumar V and Pandit R K (2013) Problems of Solid Waste Management in Indian Cities. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2013

References: 1. Viz D (2012) Urbanization and solid waste management in India: Present practices and future challenges. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 37 ( 2012 ) 437 – 447 2. Kaushal R K, Varghese G K and Chabukdhara M (2012) Municipal Solid Waste Management in India-Current State and Future Challenges: A Review. International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST) Vol. 4 No.04 April 2012 pp 1473-1489 3. Kumar V and Pandit R K (2013) Problems of Solid Waste Management in Indian Cities. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2013

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